HR Influence, what is the best approach?


This week’s HR Hour discussed how HR can positively influence within our organisations. Regardless of the size of the business you work for, the ability to influence and drive positive change is crucial to HR supporting the business in the right way.

So how can HR effectively influence without the party pooper persona?

In days when respect is almost expected, it’s actually harder to earn than we think, this is not just a challenge for HR, it is for everyone in the world of work.

When I was in an operational HR environment, the most important thing was truly partnering with the business, which helped me to build trust through effective working relationships. By doing this, I was able to have more influence due to having significant operational knowledge and experience to compliment my HR skillset. As a HR professional, you need to be brave, get out of that HR office and start adding some true value to your organisations.

Here are some ideas to help build working relationships and lead to positively influencing your organisations:

  • Be patient; getting to know our organisations is not something that can be covered in a week induction process, it takes time and a lot of patience! Getting to know all of the characters, what motivates, drives and inspires the people; this is quite a task especially if you’re new to the business or role. You cannot influence overnight (well you could but it wouldn’t be the effect you’d like!)
  • Listen, listen and listen more! Take the time to actually listen and engage with people will really help you structure your position to influence later on; don’t run before you can walk as employees will see right through this, make sure that the people actually trust you.
  • Speak the language of the organisation; understand what problems the business has, not the problems that HR has, by doing this you can then use your HR skills and knowledge to deliver effective solutions. Knowing all of these things can help encourage a supportive culture which is just as important to the external business as well as the employees within it (keep thinking brand reputation!).
  • What is in it for them? Show the organisation the benefits of why you are doing what you’re doing. If it is more of a directive than a suggestion, they will not be on board; engage people by helping to make their jobs easier and make it positive (or even fun!) whenever it is possible, as not everyone embraces change so know your audience otherwise you hear tumbleweed
  • Use quantifiable data; this can work wonders and translates to all areas of the business, especially when it comes to the impact on the bottom line, if you are adding value or working towards it, this should keep the bosses and the finance department happy!
  • Don’t be a bull in a China shop! HR must be enablers and not enforcers; we can’t enable without understanding the people, they will just switch off and ignore you



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